The success of Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie‘s Barbie was beyond what anyone could imagine. Months after its release, fans still have the film fresh in their mind with many calling it one of the best movies this year. In a recent conversation for Variety’s Actors on Actors series, Robbie spoke with Cillian Murphy. Murphy starred in another hotly anticipated film, Oppenheimer, which released on the same day as Barbie and sparked the “Barbenheimer” movement.
In the series, Robbie revealed that before the films were released in theater, she received a call from Oppenheimer producer Charles Roven who asked her to change the release date of Barbie so that both films won’t open on the same day. On moving the release date so that it did not collide with Christopher Nolan‘s atomic bomb epic Robbie said,
“One of your producers, Chuck Roven, called me, because we worked together on some other projects. And he was like, ‘I think you guys should move your date.’ And I was like, ‘We’re not moving our date. If you’re scared to be up against us, then you move your date.’ And he’s like, ‘We’re not moving our date. I just think it’d be better for you to move.’ And I was like, ‘We’re not moving!’”
Universal had put Oppenheimer‘s on the release calendar first. It was not until later that Warner Bros. announced that Barbie would release on the same day. This comes after Nolan announced that it would leave the Warner Bros. studio for the first time in two decades to make Oppenheimer at Universal. It was because of the pandemic release of Tenet that caused the falling out between Nola and Warner Bros., though the filmmaker said last month that there are no hard feelings between him and the studio.
Robbie explained that she thought the release of Oppenheimer and Barbie on the same day was a “really great pairing.” She added, “It’s a perfect double billing…Clearly the world agreed. Thank God. The fact that people were going and being like, ‘Oh, watch Oppenheimer first, then Barbie. I was like, ‘See? People like everything.’ People are weird…I think they were also really excited by the filmmakers. People were itching for the next Chris Nolan film and itching for the next Greta Gerwig film. To get them at the same time was exciting.”
Barbie became the highest-grossing release in history worth $1.4 billion USD worldwide while Oppenheimer became the highest-grossing biopic of all time with $950 million USD. Watch the full conversation above.
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